Mon, Jun 23, 2008
Combined HUD/EVS Improves Situational Awareness On Takeoff,
FedEx Express recently earned FAA certification of a new
aircraft avionics system to improve situational awareness for
pilots during takeoff and landing.
FedEx Express is the first major commercial carrier in the
airline industry to receive a Supplemental Type Certificate for the
advanced system, which combines Honeywell International 'Head Up
Display' (HUD) technology with infrared 'Enhanced Flight Vision
System' (EFVS) technology of Elbit Systems of America Commercial
Aviation-Kollsman Business Unit.
The STC approves the combined system for installation in the
FedEx fleet of Boeing MD-10 freighters.
Upon activation of the system, pilots can significantly enhance
visibility in poor weather —including darkness, smoke, smog,
haze and other weather events—while simultaneously seeing
critical flight data. This allows the captain to maintain a
heads-up view of his surroundings, eliminating transition time
normally needed to look down at cockpit primary flight information.
The visual enhancement is similar to that created by infrared
night-vision technology used in modern-day defense systems.
"The visual transition from an instrument approach to landing,
especially in low visibility conditions, is one of the more
challenging tasks a pilot performs," said James Parker, senior vice
president of Air Operations at FedEx Express. "This system is a
leading edge safety enhancement that will complement the skills of
our pilots. Combining HUD and EFVS technology into a single system
for flight crew situational awareness increases the margin of
safety in all aircraft operations and, more importantly, during
reduced visibility conditions."
The Honeywell HUD interfaces with aircraft navigational and
flight data systems in presenting a high resolution liquid crystal
display of critical flight guidance information. This is overlaid
with real-time EFVS infrared video of the outside world that is
displayed in an overhead unit in the captain's forward field of
view using HUD "combiner” technology. Elbit Systems Ltd.,
Electro-Optics-Elop manufactures the combiner glass.
The company’s MD-10 modification program for HUD/EFVS will
begin this summer and is expected to be completed in 2012. The
world’s largest cargo carrier also anticipates seeking FAA
approval to expand installation of the technology on its entire
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